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June, 1998 Articles

June 1, 1998
Summary Judgment Reversed After Alabama Court Review in Construction Site Drop-Off Case

A tanker truck driver received injuries when the truck he was driving overturned because its front wheel dropped off the pavement onto a low shoulder in a construction area. The driver and his employer sued the highway construction company, claiming a failure to place "low shoulder" warning signs along the construction site. The trial court granted the company's motion for summary judgment. The appeals court reversed, ruling an issue of material fact existed as to whether the construction company failed to adequately warn.


June 1, 1998
Judgment Affirmed Against Louisiana DOT and Contractor in Work Zone Drop-Off Fatality

A Louisiana motorist died of injuries received in a crash where a pavement refinishing project ended in an unmarked drop-off across the travel lane. Although construction zone signs were posted, there was no edge striping and the center stripes were partially obscured. When the motorist's widow sued the state and the highway construction company, the trial court awarded damages of more than $1,100,000. The state appealed the assignment of fault and the amount of damages. The appeals court affirmed.


June 1, 1998
Audible Warning Systems Alert Drivers to Potential Dangers When Backing Up

The conservatively estimated annual frequency of collisions that result from backing maneuvers is 500,000--including 50,000 injuries annually and 185 fatalities. One countermeasure is a backup warning system that would alert drivers to objects behind the vehicle. A recent study defined the recommended characteristics of and developed guidelines for backup warning devices. Neil D. Lerner, et al. reported the study's results in "Driver Backing-Behavior Research: Implications for Backup Warning Devices." Based on time to collision (TTC), their research showed that a primarily acoustic, two-stage warning system seemed feasible.


June 1, 1998
Survey Evaluates the Impact of Meeting New FHWA Guidelines for Sign Retroreflectivity

As traffic signs age, they can lose their color and their ability to reflect light, which can make them difficult to see and read. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) "initiated and conducted a comprehensive research and demonstration program to address the various retroreflectivity performance issues." One study sought "to assess the national impact of implementing the FHWA proposed guidelines for minimum levels of retroreflectivity of traffic signs, on State and local highway agencies." Sunil Taori and Hugh W. McGee reported the study's results in "Impacts of Maintaining Traffic Signs Within Minimum Retroreflectivity Guidelines." The study estimated that replacement costs nationwide would be about $144 million for local agencies and $32 million for state agencies.


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TranSafety's journal on liability and risk management for road maintenance, engineering, and law professionals. Articles summarize litigated road design, traffic control, and construction zone cases. tort, liability, law, legal, courts,
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Edge drop, accident, collision, crash, edgedropoff, road construction, signs, signals, traffic control devices.
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